×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Medical Group Warns of Binge-Watching Health Risks

Should Netflix come with a health warning label?

If you’re staying up past your bedtime to power through the new season of “House of Cards” or catching up on “Orange Is the New Black” by pulling an all-nighter, you may be putting your health in jeopardy, according to a warning from a national medical group.

Binge-watchers who fail to get adequate sleep are in danger of suffering deteriorating “mood and cognitive abilities,” the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said in a statement Tuesday. In worst-case scenarios, sleep-deprived viewers are at risk of being “in a workplace accident or drowsy-driving crash,” the group said.

The medical organization was responding to comments by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who said on an earnings last month call that the company’s No. 1 competitor was sleep.

“Think about it when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night,” Hastings told analysts. “We’re competing with sleep on the margin.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get at least seven or more hours of sleep nightly. And the org, whose members comprise sleep professionals and doctors, said it’s unwise to scrimp on getting your Z’s no matter how compelling the entertainment.

“You can stream your favorite shows and movies without sacrificing the sleep you need each night,” said Dr. Ronald Chervin, president of the AASM. “Responsible binge-watching is the way to balance your personal entertainment with your health and well-being.”

The AASM urged subscribers of Netflix — as well as HBO Now, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services — to binge-watch responsibly.

The group provided several tips for safe binge-watching:

  • Set an episode limit each night before you begin watching
  • Take a break between each episode to get out of the “auto-play” loop
  • Download episodes on your smartphone to control how many you watch at once
  • Schedule time on the weekend to catch up on your favorite shows
  • To minimize the effects of brightly lit screens at night, use screen settings that filter blue light after sunset
  • Stream videos to your TV instead of your mobile device at night to reduce exposure to brightly lit, handheld screens
  • Avoid using mobile devices while in bed
  • Turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, established in 1975, provides more info on sleep and sleep disorders on its website, sleepeducation.org. It has more than 10,000 accredited members including sleep centers and individual physicians, scientists and other health-care professionals.

More Digital

  • BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact Sign

    NATPE: BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact for Six Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — BTF Media, producer of breakout series “Hasta Que te Conocí” and “El Secreto de Selena,” is teaming with Vince Gerardis, a co-executive producer with George Martin on “Game of Thrones,” on a six-project co-production alliance. Spearheaded at BTF Media by founder-partner Ricardo Coeto, the agreement takes in the development and co-production of the [...]

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Viacom Has Acquired Pluto TV Streaming Service for $340M

    Viacom has acquired Los Angeles-based video streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash, both companies confirmed Tuesday. “Today marks an important step forward in Viacom’s evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. “Pluto TV’s unique and market-leading product, combined [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Netflix Lets iOS Users Share Movies, Shows to Instagram Stories

    Netflix is tapping into Instagram Stories for some word-of-mouth promotion: The streaming video service rolled out a new Instagram integration Tuesday that allows iOS users to share their favorite movies and TV shows via Stories. To do so, users simply select the title of their choice within the Netflix iOS app, and then share it [...]

  • Brian Lockhart - ESPN+

    ESPN Hires NFL Media's Brian Lockhart to Head ESPN+ Original Content

    ESPN recruited Brian Lockhart, who has spent more than a decade at NFL Media, as executive producer of original content for the ESPN+ subscription-streaming service. Lockhart will oversee strategy and development for all ESPN+ original programming initiatives, including new projects as well as existing shows such as “Detail,” “More Than an Athlete,” “The Board Room,” [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content